Ninamu Resort, Tikehau, Tahiti:: THE SURF Images

Ninamu Resort, Tikehau, Tahiti:: THE SURF

On the west side of the atoll, the pass at Tuheiava is about a quarter mile wide and has a right breaking on the north side, and a left on the south side.  The right is a more forgiving wave, a classic South Pacific reef pass good for surfers of intermediate to Slater-class.  Breaking from waist high to double overhead+ the wave hugs the corner of the pass allowing an easy shot to the channel from most positions.  The left is generally a hollower/heavier wave often not surfed over 10’ on the face.  The reef is shallower and the wave is generally a good distance from the channel making the paddle out after each wave a bit tricky on bigger days.

Contrary to what most people would expect, Tikehau is a better north swell spot from November to March/April, when swells generated in the North Pacific and off Japan sweep all the way down to 15° South.  April through October occasionally get very good when those huge South West swells that set off Teahupoo can create perfection in the pass.  The left particularly likes these swells, lining-up more like a point then a pass.

Access to the reef is a 15-minute boat ride in a 20-foot skiff powered by a 225 HP engine – but this is one of the best commutes you will ever experience, as the trip from Ninamu to the pass crosses through the interior of the atoll where the sun penetrates deep through the shallow interior bringing out every shade of blue imaginable.